RESERVE VISITORS TAKE
Farm gates are closed for a reason - if you open one
to get through, CLOSE IT PROPERLY BEHIND YOU.
NOT climb over gates or fences.
There has been a few occasions
where gates were either left open or not fastened properly
- one such causing considerable extra work for the farmer.
We do not want such negiligence to occur in the future
so please abide by the usual 'country code'. Visitors
may either enter the field at the 'kissing gate' (about
100 yards down from the main road) or, if coming in at
the finger post gate, rather than entering the big field
an alternative route is to follow the line of trees alongside
the reserve and enter via the stile.
you wish to join our club (and new members are very welcome)
you can download an application form from here.
The form is in Microsoft Word format so should be readily
viewable. The forms will also be available per the usual
well loved presentation "Birds of our Rivers,
Hills & Moors" is still available on DVD,
for the modest price of £5.00, from our local 'paper
shop' (A M Grieves, Newsagents) on the High Street. If
you cannot get one there, please contact John per our
'Contacts' page and we can get one to you.
on an image on our pages will give normally give an enlarged
version (maximum 640 x 480 pixels approximately). Higher
resolution images may be available on request (subject
to the copyright holder's agreement) - contact John for
The 2016 County Mammal Report (covering SW Scotland) has
been sent to us by Andy Riches. You can view it here.
7th January produced a Water Rail in the "stoorie
burn" at the Reserve which was the first there for
a while and there were also 12 Teal, 36 Mallard, 3 Grey
Heron, male Kestrel, a Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 100 plus
Chaffinch, a Willow Tit, Magpie and Jay. Roger Grant reported
a Red Squirrel near St Anns bridge on the 11th and a Fox
and 3 Roe Deer were at the Reserve with 29 Redwing, 27
Teal, 4 Pheasant , 2 Buzzard and a Willow Tit. Garry reported
on the 13th that 2 Red Kites were above Ruxton's Dump
up the Edinburgh Road and a belated report of a Barn Owl
further up the valley a few days previous. At the Community
Reserve on the 14th were 2 Mute Swans, 1 male Tufted duck,
14 Mallard, 7 Teal, 9 Little Grebe and 3 Moorhen. Apart
from all the usual birds at the Reserve at least 1000
Pink Footed Geese flew over around 11am or tea time.....probably
lasted until 11.30am.....Garry reported a pair of Smew
on Fruid reservoir on the 16th which as an exceptional
record. On the 18th at home at Park Circle waiting for
Garry to pick me up there were in excess of 200 Chaffinch
in the trees beside the foot bridge. At the Reserve 2
Goosanders flew past and the male Kestrel put in another
welcome appearance. While delivering papers on the morning
of the 20th I heard a few Wigeon flying overhead. On the
morning of the 25th Alan Smith reported hearing an Oystercatcher
passing over the town and 20 minutes later while delivering
at Ettrick Drive I also heard one. At the Reserve that
morning were 33 Teal, 43 Mallard, 6 Moorhen, a Mute Swan
overhead and 800 plus Pinkfeet passing over. On 1st February
at the Reserve were 30 each Teal and Mallard and on the
Community Reserve were 10 Little Grebe, 12 Teal and 2
Grey Heron. On Sunday 5th John Smith had a Peregrine over
his Greenwood Close garden and a single Goldcrest too.
Bob McGoran reported a young/male Sparrowhawk sitting
on his garden wall after a failed attack which provided
good views and he said that he usually gets a female Sparrowhawk
visiting his garden. Richard Bligh also reported an Oystercatcher
at his workplace near Lockerbie on the 7th of the month.
few more of Dave Bradshaw's photographs. The Long-tailed
Tits were snapped in early January, the rest earlier this
month. The Herring Gull seems to have got quite a feast!
Great Grey Shrike
We wish you all a very Good New Year!
A few items
for you this time. We kick off with the latest summary
from Iain -
On the 16th November at the Reserve were 20 Teal and good
numbers of Fieldfare while on the 19th a female Reed Bunting
was at Jocks Hide and 7 Whooper Swans were on the fields
adjacent to the reserves. At the Community reserve on
the 23rd were the usual Little Grebes, a Cormorant, a
Kingfisher and 8 Teal. At our Reserve were 2 Willow Tits
among very good numbers of other small woodland birds
and 7 Moorhen. 2 Grey Heron and a Buzzard. Tom Thomson
reported a male Bullfinch and a Pheasant among his garden
birds and I heard some Wigeon flying over the town at
night on the 27th. On 1st December Lesley Robson from
Hillside Terrace reported a single Brambling and a pair
of Bullfinch and the following day Dave Bradshaw reported
45 Waxwings at Heathall. On 3rd December Garry Tait saw
a flock of 28 Waxwings in Dumfries town centre. In the
morning at the Reserve were 16 Teal and a male Kestrel
with 3-4 skeins of Pinkfeet moving overhead. While out
delivering papers on the morning of the 5th I saw 3 Goosanders
flying over Dowding House. On the 14th Alan Beavan and
his wife reported seeing up to 6 different Red Squirrels
at Craigielands and up to 5 Buzzards up the Crooked Road
area. Mathew White reported an Otter up at Craigieburn
on the 15th and, the day after, John Smith had unusually
large numbers of Blue Tits feeding on a bush in his garden
at Greenwood Close while a Brambling put in an appearance
the following day. Garry Tait, while passing the Loch
of the Lowes, saw a family of 7 Whooper Swans and a Slavonian
Grebe, which was noteworthy, and they stayed for a while.
Richard Clarkson reported 8 Waxwings at Ecclefechan on
the 19th while at the Reserve on the 21st were 24 Mallard
and a count of 49 Teal which was excellent and there were
still over 40 Teal around on the 28th though they move
when the Reserve wetland is frozen. On the final day of
the year while working at the Reserve the full gang of
five.....comprising myself, Garry. John, Jon and Doug.....saw
a good flock of 150 plus Siskins and 40 Mallard while
on the way back to his van near the Water Bore Hole a
small group of 5 Waxwing were spotted by Garry which was
a great way to finish off 2016. While speaking to Dougie
McMillan in the shop on the 3rd January he was telling
me that he had seen up to 8 Woodcock at Lawesknowe which
was a good count. Our first visit to the Reserve on the
4th saw the wetland ponds mostly frozen and a count of
10 Teal were using the ditches for feeding and a pair
of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were displaying and chasing
each other up the Orchard area of the Reserve.
And some sighting
reports from Dave Bradshaw -
27/12/16 Quarry - Teal 3, Little Grebe 9, Mallard 38,
Cormorant 3, Long-tailed Tit 12, Wren.
01/01/17 Moffat Country Park - Mute Swan 6 (still has
last years young with them), Teal 3 (first time recorded
there), Mallard 8, Moorhen 9, Blue Tit 3, Wren, Little
02/01/17 Beattock village - Long-tailed Tit 10
02/01/17 our reserve - G S Woodpecker 2, Grey Heron, Great
Tit 9, Moorhen 2, Mallard 1, Coal Tit 2, Blue Tit 3, Robin
2, Blackbird 3
02/01/17 Quarry - Little Grebe 2, Mallard 8, Teal 5, Cormorant
1, Moorhen 1.
a selection of Dave's recent photographs:
male Green-winged Teal
Whooper Swan & cygnet
Twite ('Heather Linty')
A request from Andy Riches: any further bird reports for
Castle Loch or Hightae Loch should be sent to him ASAP.
Also any further mammal reports should be sent to him
no later than 28th January. This is so that he can complete
the recorsd for 2016.
If you don't have contact details for Andy, please give
John a shout and he will put you in touch.
To free up space for new material, our archived news pages
for 2011, 2012 & 2013 are no longer posted on the
site. If anyone wishes to refer back to them, please contact
John. The pages are still held on our sources although
no longer published. Also removed are articles originally
published in the printed Newsletters. They too are available
on request. Other pages on our site may also be removed
or consolidated to free up space. For the more technically
minded, we have 100Mb of webspace available. Pictures,
as we receive them, can run to quite a few Mb each which
is why we reduce their size before publishing - and they
can still reach 1Mb each. This does not leave us with
a lot of leeway!
entries for 2016 have been archived. View by clicking
here or on
menu at left.